NewEnergyNews: Is Software the Solution to Solar Soft Costs? Startup Genability wants to write the definitive program for solar installers.

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Colbert On The Newest Climate Fiasco
  • Weekend Video: Consumer Reports’ Tesla Vs. Bolt Face-Off
  • Weekend Video: All About The Eclipse And The Power Grid
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Is ‘Game Of Thrones’ About Climate Change?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Surprises In The New Global Solar Rankings
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Denmark’s Vestas Wins Mexico’s Biggest Wind Deal
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Supervolcanoes Could Grow Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 17:

  • TTTA Thursday-Is The White House Hiding DOE’s Grid Study?
  • TTTA Thursday-Will The White House Hide The Climate Report?
  • TTTA Thursday-Crucial Transmission Line For Wind Denied
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind And Solar Are Saving Lives
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Organizing California’s Distributed Energy Efforts
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Deep Look At Evolving U.S. Efforts To Support Solar
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Big Growth In Customer-Sited Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, August 15: New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges; Wind Becoming The Go-To Power; 88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solar Imports
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Work On Tomorrow’s Grid So Far
  • QUICK NEWS, August 14: Climate Is The Elephant In The Room; Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer; Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice
  • --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, August 21:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Wind Market Now
  • QUICK NEWS, August 21: Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Is A ‘Teaching Tool’; Target Targets Big Wind Buy; Michigan Grows Its Solar Garden

    Thursday, November 01, 2012

    Is Software the Solution to Solar Soft Costs? Startup Genability wants to write the definitive program for solar installers.

    Is Software the Solution to Solar Soft Costs? Startup Genability wants to write the definitive program for solar installers.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 25, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    The newest push by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Program is to deal withthe soft costs of distributed solar. SunShot’s aim is to bring the price of solar -- unsubsidized -- to parity with the most affordable sources of grid electricity supply. To do that, DOE wants to cut the total installed cost of a photovoltaic (PV) system to $1 per watt, or about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    GTM Research's most recent U.S. Solar Market Insight report put the average U.S. installed price at $5.89 per watt. The most recent German installed solar system price, GTM Editor-in-Chief Eric Wesoff recently noted, was $2.24 per watt peak. If module and inverter prices are assumed to be about the same in both countries, that big difference must be in the soft costs of installing a system.

    Genability says its software can help reduce those soft costs. Apparently, the DOE sees promise -- it recently awarded the San Francisco-based startup a grant for its platform to help installers provide accurate bids in less time, optimize the system size and tariff, and make collaboration and communication between soft cost providers easier.

    “Soft costs, according to the DOE,” explained Genability Founder and CEO Jason Riley, “include customer acquisition and installer overhead, financing and contracting, permitting, inspection, and interconnection, and installation and performance."

    A recently announced round of SunShot grants went to companies with ideas about how to deal with soft costs including Genability ($500,000), Clean Energy Experts LLC ($495,040), Clean Power Finance ($1.5 million), concept3D Inc. ($1,275,791), Distributed Energy Research & Solutions Inc. ($500,000), Simply Civic LLC ($499,510), Solar Mosaic Berkeley ($2 million), Tigo Energy Inc. ($500,000) and Urban Glue ($402,050).

    In giving these awards to an array of companies with plans to attack soft costs, the DOE hedged its bets. The solution may come from an aggressive startup like Genability or a power player like Clean Power Finance.

    The $500,000 grant to Genability was “to develop web, API and data tools to automate accurate calculations of the economics of solar,” explained Genability’s Riley.

    “Soft costs, or total non-hardware costs, are around 50 percent for residential,” Riley said. He cited a 2012 NREL report that put the installed cost of a five kilowatt U.S. residential PV system at $6.35 per watt and the non-hardware BOS cost at $3.33 per watt, or 52 percent of the total cost.

    Calculating how much an electricity bill is reduced when a system owner gets power from a solar system, Riley said, is “tricky and inexact.” Genability’s software, he explained, will make that calculation more precise by integrating solar system modeling and monitoring tools, tariff rate databases and engines, and usage data sources.

    “We are trying to lower soft costs by improving three things,” Riley said. Through better “prospect and triage” of deals, installers can “focus on the best opportunities.” Automation, he explained, “eliminates costs from the sales process.” And using software to include more details into solar system sales “spreads costs across deals.”

    Sizing the system optimally “means the economics for the buyer are better,” Riley said. “Getting to $1 per watt means we need a lot more solar installed, and getting as many people as possible the best deal possible contributes to that.”

    More precisely targeted marketing and sales “means lower customer acquisition costs,” he explained, “and better estimates early in the sales process means expectations are aligned. Labor is saved doing the analysis, and finally, more conversions [of interested people to buyers] again mean lower customer acquisition costs.”

    Solar companies, Riley said, “spend a lot of time and therefore money on finding and preparing a bid for potential customers, [but] less than 5 percent of these turn into real customers. Anything that helps make the process more efficient and makes proposals more attractive has a big positive impact on everyone's costs.”

    Collaboration and communication “is aimed in part at removing labor, friction and duplication from the bid prep process,” Riley said. “But we also want to eliminate the risk of uncertainty by sharing data, especially with the financiers. By sharing data, the installer designing the system can see his or her impact on the economics, the provider can be more aggressive in their pricing, and the host can feel better about the price risk they are taking on.”

    With “one-click collaboration,” Riley believes, he can “streamline the solar sales process, optimize every deal, and increase sales conversions.”

    As a winner in a tough DOE competition, Riley’s optimism is understandable. But in the wake of the Department of Commerce’s imposition of tariffs on modules imported from China and the loss at the end of last year of the 1603 manufacturing tax credit, module prices are expected to rise significantly. And demand is expected to drop off in the crucial California, New Jersey and Arizona markets due to incentive and political changes. So it may be a little harder to drive costs down than Riley now believes

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home